Newborn photo shoots during the Covid-19 pandemic

Capturing love and connection is at the very heart of my work as a newborn and family photographer. It is always an honour when a family invites me into their home to photograph their new baby in the place they feel safe and where heartfelt emotions can flow naturally. When we had to close our homes and disconnect from each other because of the pandemic, I couldn’t imagine being able to work as I did before the Coronavirus crisis. How could I continue to document family love stories when we had to socially distance from each other?

Love in the time of Coronavirus

Looking back, like most people at that time, I was fearing the unknown. But humans are incredible beings and what has become clear over the last five months is that love does not stop, not even for a global pandemic. We have adapted and started to accept our “new normal”. As the lockdown restrictions started to be relaxed, it became clear that I would once again be able to offer photo shoots not only outdoors but also in my clients’ homes.

Working with newborn babies in the home and mitigation of Covid-19 risks

Having over 10 years experience as a newborn and family photographer, I have a very thorough understanding of the possible risks associated in photographing families and babies in the home setting. I was able to draw on this experience and use the advice issued by the Government to create a list of Covid-19 safety measures. Keep scrolling to read details of the measures I have put in place to keep us all safe.

Everything and nothing has changed

We may have to follow a few extra procedures in the lead-up to and during the photo shoot but when it comes to connecting with my clients and their babies it is possible to forget about the dreaded C-word. I’m sad that I can no longer enjoy a newborn cuddle, or help out a nursing mama by passing her a glass of water, but my shoots have never been about me. I am there to document your special memories and capture your beautiful, real-life, moments. Also as my style is natural and unposed there is no need for me to touch or handle your new baby in anyway.

When I arrive at your home I will take off my shoes and wash my hands – just like I did for every in-home newborn session before Coronavirus. I’ll capture the joy, the snuggles, the milk-drunk feeds and we’ll chat throughout the shoot just like old friends – nothing has really changed at all. When it’s not possible to stay a safe distance, I’ll wear a face covering which isn’t such a bad thing. I’ve realised through wearing one these past weeks that I have quite an array funny expressions when I’m concentrating on changing my f-stop, shutter speed and finding the perfect composition!

My first newborn photo shoot after Lockdown

The photographs illustrating this post are from my first in-home newborn photo shoot from when the lockdown restrictions were first relaxed at the beginning of June. I cannot tell you how excited I was to finally be back behind the camera. It was so hard not to work and meet people. This beautiful new family had welcomed their baby boy just 3 weeks earlier and were so warm in welcoming me into their home near London’s Holland Park in Kensington and Chelsea.

As like all my newborn photo shoots before Covid, I followed baby’s lead entirely to create an array of beautiful lifestyle and documentary newborn and family photographs. Even though he was just a few weeks new he was so alert and full of different expressions which were a real joy to capture.

Outdoor newborn photo shoots

At this session we also thought it would be a lovely idea to take a walk around the local streets and mews of Holland Park. The first strolls with your new baby in their pram are always special memories and as this part of London is so beautiful, it felt really fitting to venture out for some shots in the fresh air too. It really felt like we were marking a moment in history walking the west London streets as they were beginning to wake from the Lockdown.

You do not have to miss out on your newborn photos because of Coronavirus

It’s so sad that the dreams of having a newborn photo shoot have been dashed for so many families but with the proper precautions and safety measures in place you don’t have to miss out. Photographers, by nature, are creative problem solvers and can work around most things thrown at them – even a virus.

My safety measures

My main concern is the safety of your family and that of my own family too. I also want you to feel totally comfortable with me and my camera so we will chat before the shoot to plan the perfect session for you, and discuss any questions or concerns that you may have. If you are not 100% comfortable with holding the photo shoot in your home then we can meet somewhere outdoors. Beautiful photographs can be made anywhere if the emotions captured are happy and genuine ones.

Below, I have listed what measures I am putting in place when working with newborn babies in the home setting. As the advice, R-rate and lockdown restrictions change, I will update my Covid-19 Policy here. The information below is only valid as of 8 August 2020 and may change.

1. On the morning of our shoot I will send you a quick text message to confirm that I am healthy and to check that no one in your family is displaying any of the symptoms of Coronavirus or that you have been near anyone with the virus.

2. I am fully flexible. Your session can be rescheduled free of charge if any of your family are unwell or if you have to self-isolate.

3. If I have to cancel the session due to illness or self-isolation, you will be offered new date options or a full refund of your session fee.

3. I will clean all photographic equipment prior to my arrival and leave my belongings in a single space while they are not in use.

4. I will arrive at your home in my own car and not take any public transport.

5. I will use hand sanitiser on arrival, throughout the session and on departure.

6. I ask that, if possible, windows and doors are open while I am in your home to ensure good ventilation and that your home is clean for my arrival.

7. I will not handle your baby and as my work is very natural and unposed this will not impact on the number or variety of photographs you will receive.

8. We will stay a safe distance (1m+) and follow all the advice regarding mitigation of risk issued by the Government.

9. I will wear a face covering in enclosed spaces where social distancing isn’t possible.

For my full Covid 19 Safety policy please click here.

I hope you have been reassured about going ahead with your newborn photo shoot. If you have any questions regarding my work with newborn babies please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Jess x

"The shoot was so fun and relaxed, we felt
at complete ease with Jess and her camera"

"The shoot was so fun and
relaxed, we felt at complete
ease with Jess and her camera"

About Jess

I am a newborn and family photographer and live in west London with my husband, ten year old daughter and two year old son. Inspired by the magic of childhood and the simple sweetness of everyday moments - I capture genuine and emotive images of family connections without posing or forced smiles. My photography style is very relaxed; perfect for loving families who want to document their family life and children just as they are.

I offer outdoor and at-home photo shoots across London and Surrey including Kensington and Chelsea, Richmond, Kew, Fulham, Putney, Chiswick, Wimbledon, Teddington, Twickenham and Kingston-upon-Thames.

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